Mondays became a welcome day last school year. The dreaded beginning of the week for many meant another celebrated platform to highlight local student-athletes on my end.
The “WillCo Sports Power Hour” debuted last fall as a partnership between the Williamson Herald, WAKM Radio and Gateway Tire, and it quickly transformed into a popular weekly Williamson County sports show focused on the local kids.
It simply made Mondays fun, and I can’t thank our host Tony’s Eat and Drink and sponsors like Gateway Tire, Tim Thompson Premier Realtors, Matthews Team Sports and Herff Jones for making it possible. (You can join this list of supporters by reaching out!)
Whether we had a handful of supporters or a packed place, like when recent Franklin High School graduate Charlotte Robertson brought 50-plus friends when she earned our Herff Jones Heart of the Team award or when most of the Page football team showed up during their first championship game run, each Monday produced a memorable outing.
For Tony Urbanek, owner of Tony’s and a Brentwood High School graduate, there’s one word that sums up this coming school year and the return of the “WillCo Sports Power Hour”: excitement.
“We are so excited to host the Monday night ‘WillCo Sports Power Hour’ radio show for the fall sports season,” he said. “Last spring, we were able to see Williamson County’s athletes up close every Monday night, highlighting everything from wrestling and basketball to softball and flag football.
“Tony’s is very proud to host these fine athletes and their families every week for the best high school sports radio show in Tennessee.”
We take praise like this to heart. When Summit’s veteran girls basketball coach John Wild attended, he spoke of how well the show highlighted the kids first. When longtime Franklin coach Jay Johnson was included, he loved how smooth the broadcast was.
“We are thrilled to make Monday night’s ‘WillCo Sports Power Hour’ the best event of the week as we get to celebrate our homegrown Williamson County athletes,” Urbanek added.
Each Monday, my co-host Garth Bouldin of Gateway Tire and I seemed to find out something new about local athletics, which only added to the weekly adventure of running a live show. Nearly 100 student-athletes were featured throughout the school year.
We were schooled up on the local bowling scene by Franklin’s Brayden Didier and inspired by area wrestlers like Clark Vaughn and local coaches Damon Smith and Pete Miller. Nolensville youngster — and state champion — Claire Stegall even taught us how to best train for distance running. (To date, I’ve been dragged into several more 5Ks by my wife, Carrie, with more on the horizon, while Garth still has that one race under his belt.)
Maybe we will take the show to the track someday for a challenge? Or maybe just stick to the hoop shoot game at Tony’s, since that’s a bit more our style!
Garth has been an active supporter of local athletics for years. He’s worked too many broadcasts to count, hosted countless coaching events and has been the longtime sponsor of the Gateway Tire Athletes of the Week, in partnership with the Williamson Herald, for more than a decade. We’ve worked together for years to highlight one female and one male athlete each week in the newspaper and fashioned this cornerstone honor in our weekly broadcast from Tony’s. Each week, the Gateway Tire Athletes of the Week and their coaches are featured live.
“Our platform with the show enables us to recognize these athletes and show everyone just how mature and outstanding they are away from their sports,” he said. “I’m so excited to begin our second season of hosting the ‘WillCo Sports Power Hour.’
“It’s just so much seeing these student-athletes, their coaches, families and fans enjoy coming together.”
The “WillCo Sports Power Hour” will begin its second season Monday, Aug. 15, and include a couple returning state champions in the broadcast. Each week, we will be back live from Tony’s from 6-7:30 p.m. The show can be heard live on WAKM AM950 locally and online. It can also be watched on the Williamson Herald Facebook page, where previous broadcasts can also be found.
We will also continue our partnership with Herff Jones to highlight our weekly Heart of the Team award winners with Matt Burton. This addition to the show allowed us to spotlight a student-athlete often overlooked in terms of statistics, but still regarded as an unsung hero for each team. We are hoping to also include the monthly John Maher Builders Scholar-Athlete winners — another longtime partnership between JMB and the Williamson Herald.
Besides the Athletes of the Week, Heart of the Team award winners and coaches as featured guests, we hope to continue to include special appearances as they are available. Williamson County Schools Athletic Director Darrin Joines will stop by for the first show.
If you love Williamson County athletics, I invite you to support the “WillCo Sports Power Hour” by stopping by Tony’s on Monday, supporting the Williamson Herald with a subscription or requesting to be a sponsor to the show itself. We do our best to produce an informative and entertaining broadcast each week, whether you’re listening in, watching online or in attendance.
See ya’ll on Mondays beginning Aug. 15!